By the end of this week, the missus and I should be rid of the four-wheeled beast.
It's a good beast mind you, a 2003 Toyota Matrix that has performed well and has come in handy more than once due to it's capacity (hauling groceries, moving, helping other people move, etc.), but the wife and I finally decided that it truly wasn't essential and in fact less than non-essential; in lease payments, gas(!), and insurance the vehicle is costing us roughly $400 per month, and last week we came to realize that in this city it makes no sense to burden ourselves with the "convenience". And so we're turning it in, sayonara, perhaps occasionally missed but never mourned, hasta la vista, ciao baby, goombye!
As you would expect, certain of our friends feel we've lost our minds.
Now for the really cool part. On our runs around town this last week picking up bikey odds and ends in preparation for this carless adventure, we made out like bandits! We should have been wearing masks.
*Bike Gallery was having a 50% OFF accessory sale, and we picked up two rechargeable dual-headlight systems for $50 apiece.
*At Citybikes Workers' Cooperative (http://www.citybikes.coop/annex.htm), a place we'd never been but wanted to check out, we found SPD-compatable bike shoes in our respective sizes for $20 each pair. The missus also picked up some used Shimano 'clipless' pedals, which appeared to have never been used, for $12 (I already had pedals but hadn't bought shoes for them). We're going back in a couple of weeks to pick up some bike chains and locks. It's like freakin' Xmas around here.
About those 'clipless' pedals: Now I see what the fuss is about! We practiced for about an hour tonight in the parking lot, and the things are great. Haven't even fallen (yet).
Anyway. Just sayin'.